INTERVIEW

WOMEN IN BUSINESS, PALOMA ROSE GARCIA 

Mother, business owner and sustainable warrior, Paloma Rose Garcia talks the power of women in business - people, perspective and possibilities for the planet.

SOMA DRESS

Whether it’s Paloma the woman or PALOMA the salon (slash mecca for seamless blondes, lust worthy layers and just about any international style icon in town) chances are you’ve seen, heard or admired the influence of one or the other. Single mother, successful business owner and local leader in sustainability, Paloma embraces the balance of employer, mum and woman like a true boss. An equilibrist existence recently challenged by COVID-19 – an upheaval of life and business as it was.

“COVID-19 absolutely presented challenges but as I reinforce in my staff, in the heat of the moment, it’s so important to remain calm. When emotion runs high, intelligence runs low, and clients were in some cases acting quite irrationally – influencing staff and the broader salon environment,” explains Paloma.

With growing uncertainty in climate and behaviour, Paloma made the difficult decision to temporarily close the salon.

“We were never forced to close PALOMA, this was my choice and a decision I made to manifest assurance and clarity in myself. I have a duty of care for my team and community, and this was all part of it.”

Paloma moved quickly on all fronts, closing the doors and doing everything in her power to ensure the safe arrival home of international staff.

“As a woman and mother, getting my three sponsored staff home to their families was the focus – the mental and physical health of my staff instinctively became a priority. There are moments in life that just can’t be about business, and this was one of them.”

INDUS KIMONO SET

At the beginning I used to ask myself ‘am I riding a wave?’ But now I know that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. I’m still surfing, but I made the wave – I created it - and it’s my ride.”

Actions (never just words with Paloma), no doubt propelled by high empathy symbiotic of woman.

“I believe high levels of empathy absolutely influenced this reaction – a characteristic that has only ever proved positive for my business. But it’s a balancing act of course. Emotional maturity is essential for any business owner and allows me to be firm when I need to,” she says.

There were of course moments during the pandemic where Paloma questioned how to proceed. Times where she would call into long-time business mentor and quite simply, “shoot the sh*t.” Discussions, according to Paloma, integral to making great decisions.

“Having a business mentor is really about shooting the sh*t with someone … most of the time I think I’m on the right path, but just having that conversation and bringing thoughts to life, that’s when that small but crucial detail arises and makes all the difference,” says Paloma.

“For anyone looking to engage a business mentor, it’s so important to speak the same language … and this goes for any relationship in life.”

In 2017, Paloma made the decision to buy out of her current franchise arrangement and start anew with the dusty pink, light bright exterior and lifestyle-loving personality that is PALOMA salon. The previous relationship (while invaluable to Paloma’s growth as a businesswoman), had simply run its course – the language became less fluid – and the next chapter beckoned.

A woman as sure as she looks, Paloma applied fierce decision making when developing the PALOMA vocabulary – the way she speaks, feels and presents to the world. As a visual artist, this was the easy part, but with two beautiful boys, Charlie aged 5 and Teddy, 10, fear loomed around financial stability.

“When first opening PALOMA, I held onto fear around personal earnings and making enough money to look after myself and two children. These things I held back of mind, but I’ve since worked on personal development which has truly helped.”

“At the beginning I used to ask myself ‘am I riding a wave?’ But now I know that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. I’m still surfing, but I made the wave – I created it – and it’s my ride.”

Arriving to this destination has taken a lot of work, self-belief and importantly, a great team: People Paloma holds highly accountable for the success of the salon, and who she nurtures with development programs stemming from the values and perspectives of the brand.

With Paloma a local leader in sustainability, her salon is too, an influential duo educating all those around them for the greater good of Mother Earth.

“There is a level of care I have for planet Earth – I Iove her so much – and owning a business is the chance to make a change, it’s a huge opportunity to actually do something tangible,” says Paloma.

“Everything we do is consciously done. From the type of water we serve to the language we use, and our off-grid energy provider. We’re a proud member of Sustainable Salons Australia (meaning we recycle foil, hair, colour tubes … everything!), and our shower heads use 60% less water. It’s a mindset that filters through to our clients, and it’s something we’re really proud of.”

Paloma’s message to fellow business owners looking to be more sustainable, is to simply get onboard. Most of the time these small changes (with massive influence) come at no extra cost. Not sure where to start? Bank with people that don’t support the fossil fuel industry, switch to a green energy supplier (Paloma suggests Power Shop or Amber), and always work with likeminded businesses. Three changes you can make today.

We could all learn a little something from Paloma.

We were recently welcomed into Paloma’s beautiful home to capture a series of images featuring her favourite MAURIE + EVE pieces. We hope you love it as we do.

Follow @palomarosegarcia | @maurieandeve 

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